Letter: Legalistic Letter on Perry Case Misconstrued


I am not involved in the Perry legal case as a lawyer. But as a public schools advocate following it closely, I read the recent letter from Perry’s lawyer as a simple statement about the procedural posture of her impending civil rights claim in federal court.

As I understand it, court rules require a good faith settlement process before adversarial pleadings are timely, beginning with filing of the complaint, answer, discovery requests. It’s simply factual Perry will not file pleadings or do discovery informing decisions by both parties about final disposition of the case.

Was the lawyer’s letter on procedural technicalities the only source for interpretation of its contents? Since the story reported she was dropping her legal claims, was what passes in our local hothouse politics as bombshell news confirmed by a second source, starting with Perry herself?

The Vickers-led majority demanding secrecy about all litigation is now trying this case in the press, and even openly declaring it an election year political matter that does not belong in court.

The whole community knows it was the board majority and superintendent who became hyper-legalistic, trying to use state law and threats of censure to silence Perry politically.

Perry showed political leadership by refusing to be silenced, even after the board lavished legal fees on a bullying hired gun lawyer who abused legal authority by closing meetings and imposing secrecy unlawfully.

The board forced Perry to retain a lawyer to defend her political rights and do her civic duty to represent constituents. Her fellow board members threatened legal action to silence Perry’s political advocacy, rejecting the outcome of a political process in which she was re-elected.

Now the board is pretending she instigated legal tactics for political purposes when that is exactly what the board did. And suddenly her legal defense against politicized legal harassment is a distraction from education, right?

I don’t think this board and superintendent can walk and chew gum at same time, that is, govern competently and support educational excellence. Thank God for our teachers, students and parents who thrive despite, not because, of the failed governing regime.

Howard Hills, Laguna Beach

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